Tag: apples

Garden Update – October

It is hard to believe it is already October! The weather is changing and cooler weather is here. We had a challenging gardening month because wildfires stretched across Oregon and the thick smoke hid the September sun for weeks. Despite this, it has been a very busy month in the garden! Here is what we’ve been up to:


Our apple trees are doing great! I love having a 5-way grafted tree because apples ripen over a much longer season. While our gravenstein apples are ready in July, our other types are ready now. A few weeks ago I picked a 33 pound box of apples. And there are still plenty more on the tree!

What have we been doing with all these apples? Most of them have been eaten fresh. We also made some apple crisp, which is my absolute favorite fall dessert! You can check out the recipe here.

Box full of apples.
Lots of apples for apple crisp!


I cannot remember bean plants ever being as productive as ours have been this year. The variety I planted was Hickok from Territorial Seed. After setting a large crop in July, we got a second large crop a month later. In mid September we still had flowers and small beans on our plants!

I finally had to pull the bean plants after the weather started getting cooler at night. We have been enjoying lots of garlic roasted green beans! Yum!

Hickok green beans.
We picked beans up through the middle of September. It was a great year!


I did not plant many beets this year. After our radishes were done in June I poked a few seeds in here and there. I was surprised that they got as big as they did! I will have to plant more next year.


The canes for our marion berries are growing long! I wound them around the trellis so they were not dragging on the ground. This also prevents them from sprouting new plants. The blackberries seem healthy and strong so think we will have a pretty good harvest next year!

Marion berries on a trellis.
I wound the blackberries around the trellis so they do not drag on the ground. I think we will have a great harvest next year!

Marigold Flowers

I finally took our marigolds out last week. I saved the seeds and you can read more about that here. Marigolds produce SO MANY SEEDS and I will have plenty to plant next year!

Taking marigold seeds out of seed heads
It is easy to save marigold seeds for next year!


I planted peas a few weeks ago and the seedlings are about 4 inches tall now. I usually start my peas in the fall and overwinter them for a bigger and earlier crop. You can learn more about overwintering pea plants here.

Related post: Why Garden Planning Starts in September

Sweet Peas

Shortly after I planted my peas, I also planted my sweet pea flowers. After I saw “volunteer” sweet peas coming up already I knew the seeds would sprout easily. I planted a row along the bottom of my trellis so they can get established before winter comes. I am looking forward to early flowers in the spring!

Related post: How to Save Sweet Pea Seeds


Each year we grow something we have never tried before, and the kids chose popcorn to grow this year! We planted the popcorn after the weather warmed in June. However I did not realize that popcorn takes 110-120 days to mature, which is significantly longer than regular sweet corn. It FINALLY got ripe and the end of September.

Glass Gem popcorn.
The popcorn is finally ready. It is SO pretty!!!

Ideally we would have let the popcorn dry in the garden but we had to pick it and bring it indoors since the weather has been so wet. The ears were so beautiful! We pulled the husks back and displayed some of the prettiest ears around the house.

We peeled the rest of the corn and put it in a box in the garage to dry out. We put one ear in the food dehydrator to speed up the process. It was very difficult to get the moisture content just right but finally we got it to pop! So fun!

Place the popcorn in a box to dry.
We peeled the rest of the popcorn and put it in a box in the garage to dry out. It is so pretty to see the variety of different colors!


We finally picked our pumpkins for the year! One weighed in at 15 pounds and the other was 25 pounds. We did not get as many pumpkins as we do some years. This may be because they were planted in a little more shade. The kids are already looking forward later in the month when they will get to carve them!


I had to take some of my sunflowers out of the front yard so I made these cute DIY sunflower bird feeders. The birds found them right away and the seeds are almost gone already. It has been a lot of fun to watch the birds out our back window!

Chickadee bird on DIY sunflower birdfeeder.
The birds love these sunflower bird feeders!


I took out my tomato plants a few weeks ago. The weather has been getting cooler and the tomatoes started ripening much slower. Before I pulled my plants I picked off all of the green fruit to ripen inside. You can read more about ripening green tomatoes here.

Only nine months to go until fresh tomatoes again next year! I am already thinking of what varieties I want to plant 🙂

Related: Cherry Tomato Taste Test

Final Thoughts

It has been a busy month around here but a lot of fun to harvest everything. What have you been up to in your garden? Let me know in the comments below!

Hope you are able to enjoy this beautiful fall weather! Happy Gardening!

Perfect Apple Crisp

Fall is in the air. The mornings are crisp and cool and the apples are ripening on our apple tree. It is time to make apple crisp!

I look forward to apple crisp all year long. I love it because it is easy to make and the flavors of fall really shine through. This apple crisp has a crunchy brown sugar and oat topping and gooey apple filling. I have been using this same apple crisp recipe for over 10 years now. Why mess with perfection?

This article will take you through how to make apple crisp step-by-step. Let’s get started!

Note: This article may contain affiliate links, where I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases with no additional cost to you. I only provide links to products that I love and use personally.

Ingredients for Apple Crisp

Apple crisp uses only seven simple ingredients. Let’s go through them now:

Ingredients for apple crisp.
Apple crisp requires only a few simple ingredients.

Apples – What type of apples to use for apple crisp? The short answer is, use whatever you like. Apple preference is very personal and depends on what region of the country you live in. In general though, I recommend using a tart apple to give the apple layer more flavor and prevent the topping from being overly sweet.

My absolute favorite baking apple of all time are Gravenstein apples. They have amazing flavor and soften nicely when cooked without becoming overly mushy. Gravensteins are very hard if not impossible to find in the store because of their short shelf life, which is why I planted one in my backyard 🙂 Other popular apple choices are Granny Smith (although these never really soften, but some people prefer that), Pink Lady, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious. You can also do a blend of different apple varieties. Again, use whatever you like!

Gravensteins are my favorite baking apple. While tart apples generally work best for apple crisp, you can use whatever variety you prefer!

Brown sugar – I prefer brown sugar in the topping because it gives it a nice caramel-like flavor. White sugar is mixed into the apples but you can use brown sugar here too if you like.

Why is there sugar in the apple mixture and also in the topping? Besides sweetening the apples a little the sugar has a second purpose here and that is to draw some moisture out of the apples. The flour will then help the juice to thicken to the perfect consistency.

Oats – Oats give the topping a nice texture. I usually use regular oats but quick oats can be used too!

Nuts – Nuts are great in apple crisp! They toast in the oven while the apple crisp is baking and give it a great crunch. Walnuts, pecans, or almonds are great choices here.

Flour – Flour helps to thicken the apple filling so it is gooey and delicious instead of thin and watery. Regular all-purpose flour is what you want here.

Spices – I keep it simple here and just use cinnamon. You can certainly add some nutmeg, cloves, or allspice if you want!

Butter – Real butter gives this the best texture and flavor! I use salted butter because I like how the salt in the butter helps to balance the sweetness of the sugar.

Now that we know what goes in our apple crisp, let’s find out how to make it!

How to Make Apple Crisp

Step 1: Prepare the Apple Filling

Start by stirring the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set this aside while you prepare the apples.

mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl.
Mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon together first before adding the apples. This will help to prevent clumps.

Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4 inch pieces. Try to make the slices about the same thickness so they cook evenly.

When I am in a hurry I love to use my apple corer/peeler/slicer (affiliate link). I purchased this off of Amazon six years ago now and it is still going strong! It takes just a few seconds per apple and is easy to use. If you go through a lot of apples this will save you so much time!

After the apples are sliced add them to the flour and sugar mixture in your bowl. Stir the apples well (I like to use my hands for this part) until the apples are evenly coated. Then transfer the apples to an ungreased 8-inch square pan.

At first it may look like the apples won’t all fit in the pan. You may need to use your hands to move them around and squish them down a bit. They will cook down a lot in the oven so not to worry! After your apples are ready start working on the topping.

Apples in the pan for apple crisp
Transfer the apples to an 8-inch square pan. Use your hands to squish them down a bit so they all fit.

Step 2: Make the Topping for the Apple Crisp

Measure the brown sugar, flour, oats, and nuts into a large bowl (you can reuse the bowl the apples were in). Pour in the melted butter and mix with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined.

Add the butter to the apple crisp topping.
Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

Once the topping is mixed together sprinkle it on top of the apples. To get some larger chunks I squeeze some of the topping together in my hand and then gently break it into bigger pieces. Make sure to get all the way to the edges and cover the apples evenly. The apple crisp is now ready to go into the oven!

Sprinkle the topping on apple crisp
Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Make sure to get all the way to the edges!

Step 3: Bake the Apple Crisp

Bake the apple crisp at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. It is done when the edges are bubbly and a fork slides easily into the apples. The topping should be a beautiful golden brown color.

Apple crisp
Apple crisp warm from the oven. Yum!!!


Let the apple crisp cool for a few minutes before serving. This will help to thicken the delicious goo around the apples. Add a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and you have the perfect fall dessert! Yum!

Hope you get to make this apple crisp soon! Happy Cooking!

Perfect Apple Crisp

Recipe by: Mandy
Are you looking for the perfect apple crisp recipe? Look no further! This apple crisp has a crunchy brown sugar and oat topping and over a sweet apple filling. Enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings


Apple Filling

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 tart apples


  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • cup butter, melted


  • To make the apple filling stir the sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a large bowl. Set this aside while you prepare the apples.
  • Peel, core, and slice the apples into ¼ inch slices. Add them to the sugar mixture in your bowl. Stir well (it is easiest if you use your hands) and then transfer them to an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Set this aside while you make the topping.
  • Measure the brown sugar, flour, oats, and nuts into a large bowl (you can reuse the bowl the apples were in). Pour in the melted butter and mix with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the apples in the pan. Make sure to get all the way to the edges and cover the apples evenly.
  • Bake the apple crisp at 375° for 30-40 minutes. It is done when the edges are bubbly and a fork slides easily into the apples. The topping should be a beautiful brown color. Set aside to cool a little before serving.
  • Serve the apple crisp warm with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!

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